DFW Theology & Apologetics Meetup Message Board › Does God Exist?

Does God Exist?

Aaron P.
user 14324263
Euless, TX
Post #: 1
As a new member I'd like to start a debate in this forum. I've looked through all the recent posts and didn't see a similar one and in my opinion, this should be the most important topic for all Theists:

Does God Exist?

I understand this may be a simple answer for most Theists. I'm hoping for long, debate oriented answers from those of you interested. I'll start this off by giving my answer to the question:

No. God does not exist. Often, the reason this subject comes up in the first place is because of the existence of life. The problem is that there is no evidence that a supreme being exists. Therefore, we must find other reasons for the existence of life and be okay with gaps in our knowledge. I'd love to know why life exists, but I let the mystery excite me and push me to think about the problem and other similar problems.

Why do I not accept God as an acceptable hypothesis to the existence of life? The idea of God is an exdorinary idea. This in turn requires exdorinary evidence to prove. I've found that not only is there no exdorinary evidence of god, like a modern day revelation, but there really is no evidence period. I do not count religious texts as evidence because religious texts are not accepted as accurate historical records.

I'll leave it there for now until someone responds. I look forward to continuing this discussion.
A former member
Post #: 1
I find this very interesting. The forum hasn't been used in awhile from what I've seen. I'm also not sure how many people are going to tend to be heavily interested in apologetics.

In any case, I think I see your point, God is a terrible explanation because the invocation of God fails to work with the knowledge we often already have about reality. That knowledge is that otherwise God lacks justification. I think we could go further and point out that God also fails as an explanation in that invoking God doesn't allow for further examination in most cases. It doesn't allow for better predictions. It doesn't help us understand any mechanism. Even further, given that God has mysterious motives and can do anything, he fails as an explanation because there are few possible empirical facts that he would be incompatible with, or even less compatible with, and so given that "That which explains anything explains nothing", God cannot really function as an explanation as the invocation can never really tell us why the world is a certain way and not another way without some ad hoc/post hoc philosophic reasoning. Finally, to sum up and basically agree with you, the idea of an advanced mind of all power, existing on a supernatural plane, is really not the simplest thing to invoke. All simpler explanations have to do with things we already know to exist. All better explanations work with the background knowledge we already have on what things do exist. Note: I think that this comedic piece on the matter is somewhat helpful for kind of seeing the difference between a good explanation and a worse one: http://www.youtube.co...­ And it is relevant.

In any case though, the issues I see are the following:
a) God, as often conceived as a perfect being, does not appear to exist given the facts about reality. Here's a basic argument from the attributes attributed to God that this has to be the best of all possible worlds if God exists and created it:

1) The actual world was created by an omnipotent and perfectly good being.
2) An omnipotent being can actualize any possible world.
3) A perfectly good being always chooses the best outcome from among its choices.
Therefore,
4) The actual world is the best of all possible worlds.

Note: The idea of this argument isn't strange, but rather Liebniz was a theist who is noted for advancing the idea, (and as a side note the book Candide is known for mocking it) and it persists to this day with theologian John Piper insisting it as a 7th point of Calvinism. The problem is that no matter how you want to cut the matter of this being the best of all possible worlds, the very idea of it ends up being deeply implausible, as all there needs to be for this world not to be the best is just a single imperfection. The problem is that most people don't believe in just ONE imperfection to the world. Instead, there are uncounted and uncountable apparent problems in the world, especially so given the nature of certain theistic ideas, which if true, adds to the apparent imperfections in reality. Arguing that these obvious and apparent imperfections *really* are not, usually leads to wildly improbable claims either an arbitrary skepticism on human knowledge or . As such, one of the premises from 1-3, has to be rejected. Premise 2 is a statement of omnipotence, and one that also fits in very well with notions of God being sovereign and able to accomplish his aims. Premise 3 is more basic than premise 2. As such, we are left with rejecting premise 1, and if our notion is that if God exists, then he created the world, then by rejecting that the world was created by God, we reject the existence of God.

b) Most miraculous claims have to be false.

If one looks at all of the religions of the world. One notices that almost all of them claim the existence of some miracle or another. This is the case, whether it is Islam claiming that Mohammed received divine truth from an angel. Mary having a virgin birth. Hindu yogis transcending the need for food and water. Jews being rescued from slavery by a wave of divine wrath. Oracles that can foretell the future to those who go to Delphi. Witches doing acts of magic. Or even the local Pentecostal preacher healing through faith. The problems are that most of these claims are in some sense incompatible with each other, few of them really give us reason to trust that claim over the other claims made, and a lot of the ones we can examine don't pass skepticism. Even further, it seems apparent that people continually make up bizarre claims, as to this age we have claims of ESP, UFOs, and ghosts haunting houses. For these reasons, it often seems that the best and most likely claim we can make on all of this is just that they are all false, and that human beings have a marvelous ability to project things onto reality. And, well, once the idea that human beings have a marvelous ability to project things onto reality is accepted, most religious claims will look kind of silly.

In some sense, the very idea of religion is undercut by the notion of projection, and the plausibility of it as an explanation of why religion could emerge. After all, LOTS of projections occur. It's been estimated that 15% of the population has auditory hallucinations. People seem to create additional perceived persons in times of trouble or when dealing with loss, as climbers have a "third-man phenomenon" http://online.wsj.com...­ and people with dead spouses often believe that their dead spouse has come back with them for a period of time, one study finding 50% experiencing the presence of the dead spouse, and a number claiming to have seen or heard that dead spouse. Even further, notions of good experiences due to religion aren't just limited to conservative Protestant faiths, and the idea of the divine calling exists in most other faiths, even cults, bringing skepticism to whether this is an external phenomenon, or an internal one.

c) Most religions rely on an underlying essence.

The problem here is just that there is not anything empirical to support that, and even further, given all that some religions put onto this, the idea of a person getting "Phineas Gage"d becomes an issue. If one's personality, ideas, and beliefs could all be fundamentally altered with the right drug cocktail, or with cutting the right neurons out, etc, then a lot of our basic notions of religion become deeply undercut, as an essential Karma or something else, becomes a more strained notion. And yet, this is the case. We do see instances, where a person gets cancer or a brain injury, and they start molesting children, and even where once the problem is corrected, the bad behavior stops. This creates a problem though, because these behaviors, being accidents of a neurological structure are morally problematic. Especially given that the fact that it all can go wrong with a certain neurological structure, suggests that even it going right, isn't really a matter of our free will. In fact, some research suggests that a lot of elements of our behavior is just genetic. http://papers.ssrn.co...­ The major problem brought up is that while we need a soul which exercises free will and connects to the divine, we end up with a neurological sack of impulses, with no real way to relate it back to souls and divine things with any real sense made.

So.. yeah...
Aaron P.
user 14324263
Euless, TX
Post #: 2
Hopefully now we'll get some opposing responses.
Dana
user 9965958
Colleyville, TX
Post #: 1
You say that "No evidence that a supreme being exists." The fact that there is even a discussion about the existence of a supreme being is because there is, in fact, much evidence of a God. Creation itself has always been evidence of a Creator, and thus, provokes the age old question. It is precisely that evidence that makes us ask who? or, what ? or, how?
"Therefore, we must find other reasons for the existence of life and be okay with our gaps in our knowledge" you say.
Why? Why must we find other reasons for the existence of life? Why can't you be okay with the gaps in your knowledge? Why can't there be a power greater than your own?
Isn't everything on this earth that is not natural been crafted by man? If everything on earth that is not natural has been "created" by man, then why cannot all that is natural be created by something/someone supernatural? Would that "creator" not be more powerful than man?
"Religious texts are not accepted as accurate historical records," you say. That is true if you are speaking of texts such as the Book of Mormon, for example. Never have any of the places, events, etc . been proven archeologically or with supportive historical evidence. However, there is much archeological evidence for many of the places, events and rulers of the bible. There has never been an ancient history archaological discovery that disputes anything in the scriptures. The archeological finds only serve to support its credibility. There are public schools that utilize the bible as historical and literary reference.
"I've found that there is no extraordinary evidence of god..."

Wow. Tell that to your precious little girl.
A former member
Post #: 2
Well, the problem with using creation as evidence of a creator is that in some sense, it is pretty easy to say that the universe has always existed. The reason I say this is because as relativity points out, time and space are interconnected. So, the point in time in which there was no space, wouldn't really exist. This makes any notion of a cosmological argument more... strained, as I think William Craig, one of the major proponents of the cosmological argument is noted for claiming it depends upon an A-theory of time, an A theory of time, being the theory of time that generally disagrees with our theory of relativity.

As for the issue of "why cannot all that is natural be created by something/someone supernatural?". I think this involves no logical contradictions, however, the invocation is usually in some sense ad hoc. Supernatural entities can be invoked as an explanation for literally anything, thus preventing them from being justifiable.

As for historical records, I agree with you Dana, that religious texts can be accepted as historical records. The issue is just that their validity is contested, and the miracle claims usually rejected. As it stands, I am less certain about your claim that the archeology only serves to support the credibility of the Bible. From where it stands, I've generally heard that the claim that the Jews left Egypt as found in Exodus is questionable due to a lack of the corroborating evidence that should be expected. http://www.beliefnet....­ , http://www.salon.com/...­ , http://www.worldagesa...­ I am not an expert, so perhaps I am failing to evaluate claims as well as I ought, but issues on whether it is questioned are in some sense relevant. As well, other instances such as the execution of the young in Matthew 2 by Herod, are also considered to lack corroborating evidence as well, with most biographers of Herod denying that this occurred. http://webspace.webri...­ (The claim on general denial is also found on the wikipedia article, I just am not able to give an original source with link) This is not to say that I think the Bible is a complete fiction, but unless one is already asserting the great reliability of the text, from what I understand, the text has issues that would make some claims in it false by the standards we apply to any other text. At the very least, I know this has been stated as the general consensus belief of scholars: "Today all but the most extreme Jewish and Christan fundamentalists recognize the complicated and heterogeneous origins of the Bible and that it contains statements that in any other work would be considered erroneous" (Dr. William Barnes, quote taken from the Oxford Guide to the Bible edited by Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan) So, is the Bible a good starting point to look for history? Sure. Is the Bible something we can rely on to tell us about witches and so on? I don't think so, especially given that modern accounts of miraculous claims wouldn't scratch it for most people. There's a lot of miracle claims, and unless demons are everywhere but where I am, there's not a lot of reason to believe those miracle claims.
Aaron P.
user 14324263
Euless, TX
Post #: 3
Dana,

I want to thank you for replying and participating in this discussion. I appreciate your response and will do my best to give each of your points equal attention. I'll have to break my response into two posts.

You say that "No evidence that a supreme being exists." The fact that there is even a discussion about the existence of a supreme being is because there is, in fact, much evidence of a God. Creation itself has always been evidence of a Creator, and thus, provokes the age old question. It is precisely that evidence that makes us ask who? or, what ? or, how?

I want to first define 'evidence'. From www.merriam-webster.com:

something that furnishes proof : testimony; specifically : something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter"

Definition of proof, from www.merriam-webster.com:

something that induces certainty or establishes validity

Dana, you mentioned the fact that we are discussing God means there is evidence for his existence. If I'm to accept that, then you have to accept that when we talk about fairies or other mythical beings, that there is now evidence for their existence as well. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as falsifiable as God, so you must also grant it access to the club of possible creators as well. As far as the existence of life, there is nothing that would separate the idea that fairies created it all from the idea that God created it all.

Just because something exists does not mean that something had to create it, unless we can use verification and test. If you said that such and such painting was painted by someone, then we could go verify that statement. However, if you say that God created everything, we cannot go to God and ask him in the same way and verify that statement. Under the 'Creator' argument, the question that begs to be asked is who created God? Who created whomever created God? As a believer in God, something that is unfalsifiable, you can literally make up anything on the spot and make it fit easily within your belief system. If the same were true with evolution, then would it be accepted as true today? No, it would not. However, evolution is something that is falsifiable. There is so much evidence for evolution, it's hard to know where to begin. With an idea like 'God', which is far grander a claim than evolution, we would expect to see more evidence than we do with evolution. Again, we're not talking about evidence that is unfalsifiable, we're talking about evidence that is falsifiable and can be verified. The peer review process is specifically setup to test claims before they are published to the public. Why has no one ever taken God through the peer review process? I know why, but I'd like you to answer this one.

"Therefore, we must find other reasons for the existence of life and be okay with our gaps in our knowledge" you say.
Why? Why must we find other reasons for the existence of life? Why can't you be okay with the gaps in your knowledge? Why can't there be a power greater than your own?

Let me be clear. I love gaps in knowledge, because it gives me a mystery to unravel. Gaps in knowledge is what progress is born from. So I'm very much okay with gaps in knowledge. What I do not like is when we fill gaps in knowledge with nonsensical ideas. For instance, the beginning of the universe...what happened? We don't know. We may have a hypothesis, but it hasn't become fact yet. The gap remains a gap.

So you asked me why can't there be a power greater than myself. I would say that it's possible, but very unlikely. I would be the easiest person to convince that God exists. All he has to do is reveal himself to me in some tangible way that can be verified by others. Is this asking too much? After all, how do we know that we have the relationships that we do have without tangible confirmation? Would I have a relationship with my wife if she wasn't tangible in some way? Since the answer to that question is an obvious no, then why would we expect any different from a supreme being that has the power to create us and our senses? Would the creator of us forget to include in his marvelous creation some way that we could detect him? Isn't that one of the most profound claims of any modern day Theist, that God wants a relationship with you? Why then can I never seem to detect him? After all, who wouldn't want a relationship with their creator? I'd love to know such a being, but at last, such a relationship eludes me. Have I done something wrong? Perhaps I haven't asked enough times in prayer that he reveal himself to me. Anyone know a specific number? Maybe I just haven't met his quota yet. I'm being facetious, but I think you get my point.


Isn't everything on this earth that is not natural been crafted by man? If everything on earth that is not natural has been "created" by man, then why cannot all that is natural be created by something/someone supernatural? Would that "creator" not be more powerful than man?

Yes, and the creator of the creator of man would be more powerful, and the creator of the creator of the creator of man would be more powerful. We could go on forever. However there is no reason to. We have no evidence that a creator of man exists. Let me ask you a question: Why would a creator of man, that is interested in who we have sex with, what we eat, and all the little details, not be interested in showing himself to us. Why would I have any reason to follow such a being's rules if I don't have absolute knowledge that he exists? For crying out loud, this God wants to control us in so many ways, but he doesn't have the decency to reveal himself to us in a manner that we know him as fact? I followed my parents instruction, but I also could know that they actually existed by touching them, by hearing them speak to me, by seeing them with my eyes. Shouldn't a supreme being that claims that his love his greater than our parents be able to give us even greater evidence?!
Aaron P.
user 14324263
Euless, TX
Post #: 4
"Religious texts are not accepted as accurate historical records," you say. That is true if you are speaking of texts such as the Book of Mormon, for example. Never have any of the places, events, etc . been proven archeologically or with supportive historical evidence. However, there is much archeological evidence for many of the places, events and rulers of the bible. There has never been an ancient history archaological discovery that disputes anything in the scriptures. The archeological finds only serve to support its credibility. There are public schools that utilize the bible as historical and literary reference.

Please be more specific. What archeological evidence are you speaking of and how does that relate to using the bible as a history book. Sure you can get some historical fact out of the bible such as people that may have existed or places that existed. However, it's also a book of myth and miracles, so anything like that would not be counted on as accurate in the historical sense. Any schools using the bible in any historical fashion are either using it for religion history class or they are breaking the law/policy. I seriously doubt any teachers that use the bible like a history book would keep their job very long. Now, as a literary reference book, I can see that, but it's hardly proof that it's accurate historically. If you are going to claim that the bible is used as a history book then you're going to have to be very specific and provide evidence of such a situation because I certainly have never heard or seen of such a scenario.

"I've found that there is no extraordinary evidence of god..."
Wow. Tell that to your precious little girl.
My precious little daughter deserves to know what is real and what is not. Now, do I celebrate Christmas and pretend with Santa Claus and such? YES!!! This is completely different than allowing her to learn about God in a way that would suggest that God is real. The reason is because everyone expects that down the line she will figure out that Santa isn't real. So having fun with something like that is innocent and will not harm her. However, if I were to tell her constantly and continuously that a God exists and is real, then I should feel terrible for that, because at that point I have taken it out of the context of pretending and into the context of 'real'. God is not real. Neither are fairies and neither is Santa. With your statement "Wow. Tell that to your precious little girl.", did you intend to invoke some sort of emotion from me, that I was somehow maliciously hurting my precious little girl by teaching her how to think critically and not believe what someone tells her just because they tell her something? If so, it didn't work. I'm confident that my daughter will be intelligent enough to figure out these things for herself, so I just give her the tools she needs to succeed in life. If she decides to believe in God one day, then so be it. It will not change my devotion and unconditional love I have for both my daughters.

I look forward to your response Dana.
Dana
user 9965958
Colleyville, TX
Post #: 2
Aaron
Whether there exists a Creator or not has nothing to do with your statements about the theories of time and space. Remember they are theories. Until "proven" and some things can never be proven. You just have to believe they are plausible. You just have to have faith that that is how it all works. Why do you feel it is necessary that our Creator have a Creator if it's not necessary that our world have a Creator? I don't believe it is necessary that our Creator have a Creator. For me, the God of the universe is one who is the beginning and the end. He needs nothing. He is all powerful. He is beyond comprehension. He is God of all, or not at all.
I believe that nothing exists that has not been made. Note that the first definition of "evidence" you presented is "testimony". I believe that nature is in fact a testimony to a Creator, and that no one is without excuse.
You choose to place your faith in the wisdom of cosmologists, and I choose to place mine in an omnipotent Creator. I don't have enough faith to believe that the beauty of nature and the precise order of the universe came about by chance.
Yes one can choose to put their faith in the Spaghetti Monster, everyone is free to choose. I recommend avoiding putting faith in self made gods, however. The God I praise is not self made, by me or anyone else. He is the God of the bible. That one. Everyone will serve someone. It may be yourself, (quite unfulfilling after a time), your wife, (sure to eventually disappoint.) How do you explain the notion of eternity that has been placed in the heart of every human being? Or the meaning of your existence? Is that not what prompts these debates?

Aaron: "I would be the easiest person to convince that God exists. All he has to do is reveal himself to me in some tangible way that can be verified by others. Is this asking too much? After all, how do we know that we have the relationships that we do have without tangible confirmation? Would I have a relationship with my wife if she wasn't tangible in some way? Since the answer to that question is an obvious no, then why would we expect any different from a supreme being that has the power to create us and our senses? Would the creator of us forget to include in his marvelous creation some way that we could detect him? Isn't that one of the most profound claims of any modern day Theist, that God wants a relationship with you? Why then can I never seem to detect him? After all, who wouldn't want a relationship with their creator? I'd love to know such a being, but at last, such a relationship eludes me. Have I done something wrong? Perhaps I haven't asked enough times in prayer that he reveal himself to me."

No one will ever "convince" you that God exists. It is ultimately your decision alone. Why compare the humanity of your wife to a God that has the power to create a universe? Your wife is tangible, yes, but she did not "convince" you to love her. Nor will God. And God was one of us. He basically wrapped his love for his creation in flesh and blood and took the form of man. Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. He made it very clear who he was. Which is why he got thrashed and hung. As CS Lewis said, you have to do something with him. Call him a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. But you can't say he never lived. Others have asked for a sign, and he answered them that he has already given it. Another tangible is his word. The scriptures are his love letter to his creation. And he wants all to come into relationship with him. And he didn't leave us alone. His Spirit is in all who ask for it with sincerity of heart.
You ask, "have I done something wrong?". Uh, yeh, we ALL have. We have all missed the mark. And that is why we need a way to have a relationship with a perfect, set apart from human, God.
What is history? It is recorded eyewitness events. You put your faith in history books- events recorded by man, why not in the recorded events and eyewitness accounts of the miracles of Jesus Christ? He is spoken of not only in the bible, but in other literature of the time as well.
You say that you want your daughters to make their own decision as what to believe, etc. But you also say that you tell them that there is no God. Why not just tell her "I don't really know" when she asks where butterflies come from, or why the daffodils keep coming back every spring? If you really care about her forming her own opinion then be honest with yours.

See, when it all comes down to it, we each choose to believe in only what we can see, (like the flat earth people) or what is unseen. We also often choose to believe in what conveniently works with our lifestyle. Believing in an all powerful God is something that a lot of people don't want to accept all of the consequences that come with it. (Accountability, responsibility, CHANGE) Have you considered that the "rules" and the concept of him caring about with whom we have sex might be no different than those concerns you have for the well being of your own children? Could it be that Father knows best?
As I mentioned , it all comes down to choice. I believe Truth exists (another debate for another time), even if no one chooses to believe it.
With the discovery of DNA and genetic codes, and the unanswered question of 'how did it get there?' I frankly think it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in an all powerful Creator.

Aaron P.
user 14324263
Euless, TX
Post #: 5
Aaron
Whether there exists a Creator or not has nothing to do with your statements about the theories of time and space.


I reread my reply to you and didn't see where I spoke about space and time theories. However, any scientific theory that is posited, I think has a lot to do with the existence of a God. I'm not saying that it would prove or disprove the existence of God, but I'm saying that any theory would be better than an unfalsifiable theory such as God.




Remember they are theories. Until "proven" and some things can never be proven. You just have to believe they are plausible.

This is a good time to insert some education about theory. There are actually two types of theories. There is fact theory, which is a theory that has been proven and hypothesis theory, which is an unproven theory. The latter is commonly what is meant when the term 'theory' is mentioned in any conversation, but I feel it's necessary to know the difference. For instance, the Theory of Heliocentrism is fact theory. Of course the sun is no longer thought to be the center of the universe, but if you remember, Copernicus didn't know about other galaxies or how big the universe really is. In his time, the universe was the solar system and he correctly hypothesized that the sun was at the center of the 'solar system' and not earth. Today we know this as fact, but why is it still described as theory? That's because theory is often not understood except on a basic level. Evolution is another fact theory, but Natural Selection is still hypothesis theory.




You just have to have faith that that is how it all works.

You see, I don't have 'faith' in anything. Either we know something for fact or we don't. The amazing thing about science is that it is ever changing. We will always learn new things about old facts and update our knowledge. You don't have to "just believe" as you are saying. Never, do I have to just believe in something. I base everything in my entire life on facts. I don't have to believe that water exists, it does and I know it because I can test for it. Belief is a reserved word for religion, not science. You can say that I 'believe' in my theories until your blue in the face, but that won't change the fact that I do not 'believe' but think. So what do I do when I don't know something? I look for the answer in a scientific way. For instance, I don't claim to know for fact what the origin of the universe is, but I can claim to have a strong hypothesis theory. Do I believe in that theory? No, I 'think' it's true. Because I think instead of believe, I can easily change my stance when or if a better theory arrises. However, for the Theists, they cannot change their stance if something better is available because that would go against their 'belief'. I feel like I've amply explained how I don't believe anything.




Why do you feel it is necessary that our Creator have a Creator if it's not necessary that our world have a Creator?

You are confusing something I said here. I don't believe in a Creator...in fact I lack belief. What I meant is if you were correct and there is a creator of everything, then God himself would have a creator by that logic.




I don't believe it is necessary that our Creator have a Creator. For me, the God of the universe is one who is the beginning and the end. He needs nothing. He is all powerful. He is beyond comprehension. He is God of all, or not at all.

This is something that you have yet to prove. You have nothing but faith. You are positing something without evidence to back it up. All you have is your words.




I believe that nothing exists that has not been made. Note that the first definition of "evidence" you presented is "testimony". I believe that nature is in fact a testimony to a Creator, and that no one is without excuse.

Again, this requires ultimate faith to believe. You cannot prove that everything in nature is created, but you say it anyways. How is nature a testimony to a creator and what is your evidence to back that up? Can this be verified? Can you do an experiment to test your theory and can others reproduce that experiment? You are not giving me any reason to be swayed by your arguments. All you're saying here is I believe, I believe, I believe. All I want from you is something that is tangible evidence for God. Simply stating that nature is 'testimony' to a creator is not enough. I can easily dismiss this by saying the Flying Spaghetti Monster could have just as easily created nature. What reason is their to believe that your God created nature and not the FSM, or Tinkerbell, or Santa Claus?




You choose to place your faith in the wisdom of cosmologists, and I choose to place mine in an omnipotent Creator.

I'm not placing faith in anything. I will only 'think' something is true if it can be proven to me. Even then, I reserve the right to change my mind if a better hypothesis is presented. It's interesting that you have chosen to use the word 'omnipotent', which means all powerful. If your God was all powerful, then would he not have the ability to show me that he exists? I would think so. Perhaps he just doesn't like me. Maybe your God hates freckles and therefore hates me and chooses not to show me that he exists. Perhaps he wants me to go to hell? How else would you describe his mood towards me considering I've prayed, I've served, and I've done everything I was told was necessary to have a relationship with God, but he still never spoke or revealed himself to me. Perhaps my ears were clogged? Maybe I was temporarily blinded when he passed before me and I failed to see him? I don't know, but I gave him every chance to keep me in his flock, but he just ignored me. I had no choice but to stop believing he existed. Please remember from earlier though, I still reserve the right to change my mind. If God is real and chooses to reveal himself to me and he makes this revelation tangible in a way that could be verified by others and tested, then I would believe in him again. That's the beauty of science. It's unbiased.




I don't have enough faith to believe that the beauty of nature and the precise order of the universe came about by chance.
Yes one can choose to put their faith in the Spaghetti Monster, everyone is free to choose. I recommend avoiding putting faith in self made gods, however.


I think you miss my sarcasm when I talk about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I don't actually believe in such things. I say it to prove a point that any imaginary thing can be interchanged with God without failure in the idea of God. The only point at which the FSM would fail is when you start asking for evidence that he exists. The same goes for God.




Continued...
Aaron P.
user 14324263
Euless, TX
Post #: 6
The God I praise is not self made, by me or anyone else. He is the God of the bible. That one.

Actually, this is exactly what I'm saying, that your God is made up by the authors of your bible. You can't prove to me otherwise, or at least, so far you have failed to do so. Think about it. How many Gods were created in fictional writings in the history of man? Why is your God so different?




Everyone will serve someone. It may be yourself, (quite unfulfilling after a time), your wife, (sure to eventually disappoint.)

I disagree...nothing has been more fulfilling than meeting my needs, wants and desires and the needs, wants, and desires of my family.




How do you explain the notion of eternity that has been placed in the heart of every human being?

We all have the innate ability to imagine. This is where the notion of eternity comes from. That's how I explain the notion of eternity. It was not placed in my head by someone or something.




Or the meaning of your existence? Is that not what prompts these debates?

Again, imagination is what separates us from our animal cousins. Our ability to have consciousness is what allows us to imagine and ask deep, philosophical questions such as: "What is the meaning of life?"




Aaron: "I would be the easiest person to convince that God exists. All he has to do is reveal himself to me in some tangible way that can be verified by others. Is this asking too much? After all, how do we know that we have the relationships that we do have without tangible confirmation? Would I have a relationship with my wife if she wasn't tangible in some way? Since the answer to that question is an obvious no, then why would we expect any different from a supreme being that has the power to create us and our senses? Would the creator of us forget to include in his marvelous creation some way that we could detect him? Isn't that one of the most profound claims of any modern day Theist, that God wants a relationship with you? Why then can I never seem to detect him? After all, who wouldn't want a relationship with their creator? I'd love to know such a being, but at last, such a relationship eludes me. Have I done something wrong? Perhaps I haven't asked enough times in prayer that he reveal himself to me."

No one will ever "convince" you that God exists. It is ultimately your decision alone.


I think I've said many times that I can be convinced that God exists, but I'm not just going to take what you have to offer at face value. You have to prove it to me.




Why compare the humanity of your wife to a God that has the power to create a universe? Your wife is tangible, yes, but she did not "convince" you to love her. Nor will God.

My wife did in fact convince me to love her. There were tangible, real things about her that attracted me to her. Her personality and character convinced me that she was the one for me. I didn't compare her humanity to God, I simple made the observation that she is real and she exists because she is tangible. I can experience her using my senses, but I can't do this with God. God is not tangible and he is not real. God does not exist.




And God was one of us. He basically wrapped his love for his creation in flesh and blood and took the form of man. Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man. He made it very clear who he was. Which is why he got thrashed and hung. As CS Lewis said, you have to do something with him. Call him a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. But you can't say he never lived.

Actually, there is only one reference to a man named Jesus that lived relatively at the same time as Jesus Christ outside biblical texts and that was by the historian Josephus. However, Jesus was a common name at the time and Josephus could have been talking about anyone. Unfortunately, we have no proof that Jesus Christ actually existed. I've already shown you how the bible is not used as a historical reference because it is a religious document. So, we really have absolutely no evidence that Jesus Christ existed. So, C.S. Lewis was very wrong and he made a very poor argument for Jesus. Perhaps those who are already Christian enjoy C.S. Lewis's work, but there are much stronger apologetic works that greatly surpass C.S. Lewis and his Lord, Liar, or Lunatic argument. It might trick the common surface Christian, but those who actually study the religion can show you how poor of an argument it is. It is also a very dangerous argument to make because the surface Christian will often quote C.S. Lewis to a skeptic and the skeptic can easily show where there are actually no credible historical sources that prove that Jesus Christ existed and in turn can shake the foundation of a surface Christian.




Others have asked for a sign, and he answered them that he has already given it.

And what did he already give? Did I miss something...I don't see where you showed that God has already answered others who have asked for a sign. By the way, I'm not merely asking for a sign. I'm asking for proof of God's existence. I would say that proof is much more of a weighty term than sign.




Another tangible is his word. The scriptures are his love letter to his creation.

You can't prove that God himself wrote the bible and you also can't prove that he dictated 'his' word to a follower who then wrote the bible. Every argument I read from you requires me to believe on some level what you are saying. However, this is the biggest problem with people who argue like you. All you do is rely on belief. You have never provided me with one shred of evidence that I can actually verify on my own. I'm not asking you to physically provide the evidence yourself, I'm just asking you to point me in the right direction, but you have failed to do that.




And he wants all to come into relationship with him.

When I wanted to start a relationship with my wife I pursued her. I talked to her on the phone. We went on dates. We would kiss. This is how I know my relationship with my wife is real. This is how I know my wife exists. If God wants a relationship with me, as you claim, why doesn't he pursue me? I've said many times, I'm open to him. I'm ready to receive the gift of a relationship with him. I'm making it easy on him. I'm not making it hard on him at all...I'm stating in public that I would love to have a relationship with my creator, if he does indeed exits. Why then, does he not reveal himself to me? Why? Could it be because he does not exist? This, I think is the most logical and likely scenario. Otherwise, he would show up now and end this debate...right?




Continued...
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